By Tony Lee
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
BOSTON (Ticker) — A trio of Boston Bruins were just named to
the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Lately, however, it has
been non-All-Stars Michael Ryder and David Krejci who have been
standing out for the top team in the East.
Ryder scored twice and Krejci added a goal and two assists
Saturday as the Bruins posted a 5-1 victory over the Carolina
Defenseman Mark Stuart netted a goal and set up another,
Stephane Yelle also tallied and Tim Thomas – one of Boston’s
three All-Stars – made 29 saves.
Rookie Blake Wheeler chipped in two assists for the Bruins, who
have scored 11 goals in two games after netting a total of just
six in their first three outings of 2009.
Much of the credit can be given to the line of Ryder, Krejci and
Wheeler, who have been dominating opponents of late.
“We read off each other going into the offensive zone, we know
where each other is going in certain areas and we know sometimes
if you just throw puck in an area, that’s where the other guy
is,” Ryder said.
Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton yelled out from Boston’s locker
room after the game that Krejci “was robbed” of an All-Star
Bruins coach Claude Julien said it does not matter either way
but hinted that stardom is imminent for the 22-year-old center,
who entered Saturday’s contest as the Bruins’ second-leading
scorer with 46 points.
“Obviously, this is a guy who is in his second year and he’s
starting to show all those attributes of a great player,” said
Julien, who earlier in the day was named to coach the Eastern
Conference All-Stars. “And he’s still in the young stages of
Wheeler assisted on Krejci’s power-play tally – his 16th goal of
the season – less than eight minutes into the game to open the
scoring, but that was just the start for the trio.
And there was no shortage of razzle-dazzle.
After Yelle and Stuart scored to make it 3-0 and chase
goaltender Cam Ward just 3:27 into the second, Ryder took a feed
from Krejci, deked a defender to the ice and lifted a backhander
past netminder Michael Leighton at 7:20.
The threesome then provided a highlight-reel goal later in the
period, with Ryder scoring his 17th of the season to give Boston
a commanding 5-0 advantage.
Krejci, who has recorded 13 goals and 24 assists in his last 24
games, picked up Wheeler’s pass and shoved a no-look backhand
pass to a wide-open Ryder, who easily deposited the puck inside
the right goalpost with 3:55 remaining.
“It just happened. I knew he was there,” Krejci said of the
pass, which brought roars from the TD Banknorth Garden crowd
each time it was shown on the big screen. “Those plays just
“I was just going to the net and Krejci just made an
unbelievable pass,” Ryder added. “He knew I was there.”
Ryder has scored 14 goals in his last 20 games and Wheeler has
notched at least one point in 13 of his last 19.
Thomas lost his shutout bid 6:07 into the third, when a
redirection by Justin Williams trickled through traffic and past
the netminder to make it 5-1. It was Williams’ third goal of
the season but was not enough for Carolina to ignite any form of
“All in all, it was not a great day for us as a hockey team,”
The Hurricanes have lost two in a row following a four-game
winning streak. They were outshot, 15-6, in the decisive second
“We won’t be bragging about that game,” Carolina coach Paul
Ward stopped just nine of 12 shots before Maurice pulled him in
favor of Leighton, who made 18 saves.
The Bruins played their second straight game without injured
left wing Milan Lucic (undisclosed) and defenseman Shane Hnidy
Rookies Byron Bitz and Martins Karsums, recalled from Providence
of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, each recorded
their first career point with an assist.